Dendroboard banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for feedback on my first vivarium build and hardscape for a small group of Dendrobates leucomelas (my first dart frogs). The build is a 22in x 17.5in x 24in (40 gal) custom glass with a 4in Euro-style substrate dam with a vent, and a vent on top. Lighting is a Hygger LED. Background is cork rounds, cork flats, and spider wood siliconed to the wall, then Great Stuff covered in Drylock which was partially covered in silicone and coco coir for more areas for plants to anchor. I have 5 plant pots embedded in the Great Stuff, each with air line tubing covered with a layer of filter foam for drainage. The tank is drilled at 0.5in from the bottom, so I plan to use filter foam and Turface drained continuously for the substrate covered by a generous layer of leaf litter. It's a vivarium for the corner of my work desk, so only two walls are covered, but I tried to utilize the entire volume and will do my best to optimize it more with plants. I've done a fair amount of reading so hopefully haven't made any big errors, but if I have, I'd rather know before planting and getting any frogs in there. Any other feedback or tips (I anticipate I'll be making more!) would be appreciated as well. Thanks!
World Glass Wood Display case Electric blue

Purple World Gas Rectangle Tints and shades

Water Art Display case Wood Glass
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,554 Posts
Looks great!

Add turface, leaf litter, plants, let it "cycle" so you can get a handle on maintaining humidity/misting, and then you're ready for frogs!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
5,437 Posts
I showed this to my leucs, and they approve. :)

Really nice hardscape. The cork rounds are going to be hiding spaces that you won't be able to extricate frogs from; that's fine, as long as you know what you're getting into on that front.

Though I only use Turface in sloped bottom vivs (so can't confirm this), I read that it wicks a lot. It may be prudent to run the foam all the way to the edge to minimize saturation of the lower layer of leaf litter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all! I did build it myself. I looked at comercial options and strongly considered an In Situ. But after months of reading this forum and watching lots of YouTube a la Troy Goldberg and Tanner Serpa, I decided a custom build would be fun. I did start by modifying a 10 gal aquarium to a front opening to get used to the materials before being confident enough to make this one. I plan to use that one for a grow out.
Thanks for the comment about Turface. I got the idea from an Amphibicast episode with Zach from Equatorial Ecosystems where he said he used Turface only for substrate. I contacted him to confirm some details and he said as long as it’s drilled low and you use at least 2 inches, he hasn’t had issues with water wicking all the way up. My only experience with it is the last month with the grow out. It definitely wicks some water in low spots, but got significantly better when I added more Turface. That tank also doesn’t have filter foam, so my hope is that a good layer of Turface on top of the filter foam will eliminate water pooling. But if I find it’s an issue in the first week, I’ll add in the foam wall to wall. My only reason not to do so initially is I don’t like the aesthetics of seeing the foam from the outside, but that’s really not a big deal. I can give an update on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I very much recommend using aquarium gravel over turface. Imo the best substrate
Interesting. Why that preference? Bigger size particles so it’s harder to ingest and easier to drain? Something else? Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I added the Turface and got it planted. I waited a few days to make sure the top of the Turface dried out well enough and it seems to. I mounted the bromeliads directly onto the hardscape. A lot of the plants were able to be placed right into the bottom substrate or embedded planters and then pinned to the wall. Since it’s my first vivarium, I wanted some faster growing plants to get that grown in look, but I have Ficus pumila and Monstera adansonii in planters or mounted up high, so hopefully will be able to remove them at some point if I don’t want them taking over. I do have Ficus radicans planted into the Turface though because it fit well. I know moss is challenging, but I added some Java moss I had to lots of surfaces to see what sticks around. I’ll be adding lots of leaf litter next. Please let me know if you have any feedback!
Water Purple Pet supply Organism World

Purple Organism Rectangle Display device Glass

Purple Organism Pet supply Marine biology Electric blue
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It’s more red than purple and the top of the leaves are a deep green and silver. The lighting and the angle maybe makes it a little odd. I can take better pictures later.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top